Mercy Springfield to Host Forum on Women’s Heart Health

Heart disease continues to be the number one killer of women across the globe, but there are more resources than ever to help prevent it.

Experts from Mercy will present new and helpful information on Tuesday, Feb. 18, during the annual Family Health Forum in the Hammons Heart Institute Auditorium located at 1235 E. Cherokee. The free event, which runs from 6-8 p.m., is sponsored by the Mercy Women’s Heart Center.

“We know a lot of health issues come along early in women’s lives that can predict whether they’ll develop coronary artery disease early,” said Susan Hansen, administrative director of Cardiopulmonary Rehab and HealthStyles. “There’s an opportunity with lifestyle modification and treatment that we can avoid the development of cardiovascular diseases.”

Dr. Lakshmi Parvatheneni, medical director of Mercy Women’s Heart Center, will emcee the forum and speak about some surprising health issues young women face that are now known to contribute to developing heart disease. Dr. Tamara Fusco will speak about new research that indicates women who breastfeed have lower risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Mercy dietitian Becky Holcomb will address factors – such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity – that can put women at a greater risk. A question-and-answer session will follow.

“It’s American Heart month, the time of year that we celebrate Valentine’s Day and our hearts,” added Hansen. “This is an ideal time to focus our awareness on preventing heart disease.”

The two-hour forum on Feb. 18 is open to everyone; no registration is required. There will be door prizes. Convenient parking is located north, south and east of the building. For more information, call 888-8888 or 1-800-909-8326.

The Women’s Heart Center offers heart risk assessments, trained counselors, nutrition advice and coping strategies for helping reduce risks and improve overall health and quality of life. To learn more, click here.

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